When I meet with a client interested in listing a home with me, one of the first topics I cover is the condition of the house and how it will fare during the critical home inspection.
Is the house as sound beneath the surface as it appears on the outside? We discuss the roof, the wiring, the plumbing, and a lot more. I recommend that my clients get a pre-inspection prior to putting their house on the market. Here are the most common areas that come under scrutiny during a home inspection:
- Plumbing: A visual inspection can detect leaking, and an inspector will gauge water pressure by turning on all faucets in the highest bathroom and then flushing the toilet. Plumbing leaks often cause dry rot issues.
- Sub Area: An inspector will look around your house and in the crawl space under the house for evidence of water intrusion.
- Heating & Cooling Systems: It’s a good idea to have a HVAC company service your system before your home goes on the market. Typical systems have a life span of 15-25 years.
- Roof and Gutters: Buyers will ask about the condition of your roof. Water leakage can be caused by physical deterioration, accumulation of debris or damage from trees. Water issues need to be addressed.
- Wood Trim & Siding: An inspector will probe wood to see if dry rot is present in trim, windows, fencing or floors.
- Fireplace and Chimney Masonry: Having a chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney will alert sellers to necessary repairs.
- Electrical Circuit: The safety of circuits and wiring in the home are essential to the confidence of potential buyers. Fire hazards are often created when electrical repairs and changes are done without an electrician.
- Structural/Foundation Problems: Structural integrity is fundamental to your home, so expect an inspector to investigate the underlying footing and foundation.
For sellers, it’s always better to know in advance about any problems that may come up for buyers when they get serious about purchasing a home. I encourage my clients to be proactive. If problems are identified and repaired, un-pleasant surprises that may undermine the sale of the home can be avoided.
Glenn Allen, RE/MAX Real Estate agent, can be reached at